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Regarding the 80%merino/20%cashmere yarn linked to in the post below, and Alice's disappointed comment about it: This is industrial yarn, it needs pretty intensive finishing before you get to see what it's really like. It has a ton of spinning oil and other crap in it to begin with to make it go through industrial machines easily.. I just got mine today, and yes, it feels like Brillo. {shouldn't, but let's see} I just knit a quick swatch on my machine and washed it to get the true feel.

For handknitters, I'd recommend skeining it, and washing it before you knit with it, otherwise, it's not going to be a pleasant knitting experience. The little twee, expensivo balls of supersoft whatever you're used to have been finished to within an inch on thieir lives already, and rarely need more than a light steam. This stuff is different.

Finish like this:

Skein your yarn first.

Hot water, not hotter than your hand can stand. I use Ivory Liquid. Immerse, press down and squeeze gently to make sure all wool has soap in it. Let soak for 10 minutes. Squeeze some more to distribute soap. Drain, and rinse in same temp 2-3 times till all soap has been removed. Roll in a towel, squeeze, hang to dry.

I might wash it again in lukewarm, same procedure, after it's knit {not too tightly}, then squeeze in a towel, and throw it in the dryer with the towel for 5 minute increments to make it bloom. Remove it from the dryer if it starts to shrink, that's not the goal here. Lay flat to finish drying. Don't knit too tightly. Blooming makes the yarn expand, as you might imagine.

There's alot more work that goes into knitting with industrial yarns, but if you have more time than money, or make alot of stuff... I think it's well worth it. More reports on this stuff after my swatches dry.

LATER: This yarn is lovely! So is a lambswool/alpaca blend I got from them, which seems to be sold out. MUST BE PROPERLY FINISHED. You'll see.

My new toy.
Auto Knitter

Some excellent pictures of the protests against Bush going on here in NYC, that you probably won't see on the evening news. More. And, some more.

Interesting sideways hk cardigan construction.

Hmm, seems like I'm not the only one getting ripped off.

$14.US a pound for 80% merino/20% cashmere, but you'd better hurry. There's a box of it heading in my direction, don't you know.

Love it. Now I'm being accused of copying vintage patterns myself by "Alley" in the comments pertaining to that post below, so it's somehow OK that Erin copied me. I think plagiarism, uh "sampling" has become so accepted that it's considered rude to point it out any more. Fascinated by that mentality "We're just doing it because you must be doing it".

Welcome to the world of original ideas, you overflowing ashtray.

I have a terrible weakness for collecting knitting machinery. My justification is that I USE it, all of it always pays for itself hundreds of times over, even used a plastic barbie knitter to make skinny scarves a few years ago for the shop.

So, it seems I've indulged again, today finds me the proud owner of an antique Auto Knitter circular sock machine that knits/ribs 10 stitches to the inch {among other gauges}. The fineness of the fabric was the part I could not resist, although I've wanted a sock machine for a long time. This is actually another part of a larger project involving vacuum packing. :-> heh.

I've been diffusing handknitting stress by machine knitting, {if you can believe it}, knitting sideways gored skirts on the 7g in cotton, linen, lurex and silk mixtures. The two below are fresh off the machine, and the blue one is not complete, it still needs a waistband and bottom trim band. They look like crap now, but I'll post an "after" shot on mannequins after they're finished: {washed. blocked and steamed}. Fine finishing separates the girls from the women {says me}.

shortrow skirt 1shortrow skirt 2

Why don't you go and Knit a Flower? I think Beccajo's pattern is lovely {+free!}. More distinctive than crochet as well.

Motherlode of free sock patterns.

Tip: Don't watch "Monster" the movie before you go to work. Although Charlize Whatever was really great, I was in a bitch on wheels mood all day. Foultempered as all get-out. It was too brutal to watch, I can't take that stuff. Plus the stress of no vacation and constant work on studio building, shop and getting my book done is starting to really wear on my nerves. I feel like crying at the drop of a hat. Have about a month to go before I can {get some} rest. SHIT!!!!!! And then it's Fall.

Very happy to report that Dale of Norway has generously agreed to be a yarn sponsor for "Knitting for Dogs". I love their very high quality yarns, am glad I can showcase them in some spanking fresh {sorry, I just saw "Secretary"} new dog knits! Thank You Very Much!

........This post is now retired........

What a great word: Poshlost.

Out running errands today, and a vacant storefront sort of fell into my lap. It's one block from the Brooklyn Museum of Art, needs only cosmetic work, and is on a busy main drag, not a side street like I am now. The neighborhood is full-on Funkytown, no denying it, but cleaning up slowly. It's only $150. more a month than I'm paying now, for twice the space. It has one of those old fashioned window fronts that have two sides, like a big showcase, but on the street, really beautiful. Tin ceilings, a long and skinny space. Landlord will be back in town in a week or ten days, and we'll see what happens then. Might be pioneering a neighborhood again, not really what I wanted to do, but could be worth it. Going to talk to the Avenue's Merchant Association later. Hmmm. I outgrew my shop's small square footage {220} a few years ago, and it's been a real squeeze since then. Hate to get excited until things progress further, although this one feels different...

Feeling lucky again.

Do's and really scaryDon'ts.

Child Pimp and Ho Costumes, now on sale! Gawker culture, racheted down to kiddie level. Incredible.

Finally, some actual knitting-related content: Excited and a little nervous, found out today that my article "Texture Knitting Pattern Transcription using Repeating Number Sequences" is coming out in the next KnitKnit! I promise you, you've never seen anything like this... I'm really curious to get feedback on it to gauge whether it's as convenient/fun for others to knit this way as it is for me, or if I'm just insane. Also, how successful I was at conveying exactly how to do it. Due out late September, my shop will carry them, or you can get a copy various other places {check their site}. It's issue #4. BTW, Knitknit is a wonderfully interesting and beautiful little 'zine, in any case. Buy yarn as much as possible, yes of course, but don't forget to feed your head as well.

Have been shifting the shop over to Fall this week, August is a weird month. It's still boiling hot out, but the woolies and corduroy skirts are starting to appear. In between writing/knitting dog sweaters which I can't talk about, making the simplest of wraps and ponchos in silk/linen/cottons for seasonal transition.

The person who was supposed to help me get the shop online has apparently taken a powder, search begins today for his replacement. I will get it up eventually. *sigh*

Got another 910 electronic machine form Ebay yesterday, this one did not arrive smashed to bits like the two proceeding it! {Bad Fedex, Good UPS}. Finally I can use my hundreds of original stitch patterns currently transcribed on mylar sheets without having to enter them into my newer machines stitch by stitch. It comes with an extra circuit board, hopefully that also works! If I can figure out how to get it into my other crippled 910, I'll have two working machines. This is exciting and a little nervewracking, they stopped making these years ago. I feel thankful every time I fire one up and it still works.

I hired a bookkeeper! This is major! I'm thrilled beyond belief! Now I can really focus on MAKING the money, not wrangling it. Off to trade shows all afternoon, back to writing patterns tonight.

I'm a happy, happy camper today. A pt housekeeper is next on my "Luxury Living" agenda. Fresh Direct is not the best idea for me though, have been eating way too much really good food this week just because it's in the house. Packing on the pounds! I can feel it. I guess there's a reason my pantry is not usually stocked so full. Have to stick to ordering veg, fish and fruit, mostly.

RIde was rained out. No matter.
kitchen confidential

My reward for working hard today is joining the Prospect Park Moonlight Ride tonight.

My Trek hybrid has lain flat-tired and unused in the storage room for 2 years, so I will try it on the Stingray. The park's not that bad if you don't go round and round many times. I can always quit early if that bike's not suitable. Excited about this!

Ordered from Fresh Direct last night, took delivery of 4 boxes of very heavy and fresh groceries to my front door this am. Lovely! Generally limited to what I can drag home in my bike's basket, not having a car. Up until this point, my diet has been determined by how much weight I can carry.

Feeling very productive lately, really only beginning to ramp up...

{*sideways note*...All my dishes are washed, EVERY FRIGGIN ONE OF THEM. If you know me personally, you know this is not the norm. Elated! What a simple person I am. Doesn't take much. Had to record this for posterity. Happens every few years.}

I love this movie for many reasons: Instant {warning 12.5mgs}

I posted an ad for a bookkeeper today! First step on the way to NEVER DOING THAT CRAP EVER AGAIN. My heart feels lighter and more carefree already.

Rick Rack scarves at the shop this Fall, knit on correspondingly Jumbo needles. Same pattern, different, very different gauge.

Intelligence without pretension: Cabinet. Happy to report my shop now stocks it! My favorite "Arts and Culture" magazine. $10. + $2. p/h if you'd like me to send a copy to you. staceyatredlipstickdotnet

Shop is *closed* this week! Yesterday, today and tommorrow spent taking care of errands, wrapping up financial issues, etc. then I can focus on writing knitting patterns ONLY for the rest of the week. Nice! Will be spending some of that time working in the park with the dog and the Botanic gardens without.

Lunch with my editor and publisher this afternoon. WIll be in the neghborhood of the huge Japanese bookstore on 49th, which I'll visit afterwards. WhooHoo! Sometimes I feel like my life is a dream. :-> This is wonderful, as I used to feel like it was a nightmare I couldn't get out of. But I did, and it's not anymore. Super happy lately. All my hard work over the past 4 years is really, really starting to pay off.

My studio building is full of excellent people making interesting art. This 'hood is better than ever, my apartment is big and breezy, and my sunflowers are getting ready to flower in the backyard. I ate a piece of dark chocolate with my Peet's this am. Life is GOOD>

Some Visual-Spacial Learner traits. Thank you to "Susie" in my comments below for the heads-up. This is me! No denying it. At my age though, I've managed to overcome the limitations this presents naturally. At this point, have been self-employed for now most of my adult working life, always with success. Explains alot. Going to pursue this for more info.

If you stop and think about it, the motions your hands go through to make different stitch structures are pretty athletic. It would not be an easy job to do that mechanically because many of the parameters are determined by the FEEL of the yarn, know what I mean? Not easy to replicate without nerve endings.

Decided to close the shop next week and work on patterns for the book. I need to focus on it now, and it's August anyway. One day will be spent at the beach, weather permitting.

The shop will also be closed during the Republican convention beginning of September. I'm annoyed and angry that they're having it here, because it's making New Yorkers lives infinitely more stressful, dangerous and difficult. Like we need more of that. Many businesses are closing because of blocked off streets, logistical problems and terrorists fears, so we're ALL LOSING MONEY EXPONENTIALLY, you government assholes. Holding the convention here was a monumentally stupid idea, in the aftermath of 9/11, which we're all still dealing with. How great a temptation is it to terrorists have Bush the Bad and his evil minions all together in one spot? Why don't you gather in the desert, you Republican creeps?

Totally gratuitous : DykeDolls! Actually, I used to dress like the rockabilly one. hehe

I want to make a robotic knitting monkey for handknit stitches.

I'm boiling hot, and my brain is crispy. Profusely planning ahead, dealing with the now and up to my nostrils in projects. Some interesting shop developments being considered.

I met Little Phil, but pausing because although adorable, he still pees in the house. Very disinterested in smelling or cleaning up urine on any regular basis.

In response to many requests:

How to Handknit RickRack...

I used two size #3 us Double Pointed needles. DP's are important, as you'll see. The yarn is Schachenmayr Nomotta "Catania Color", 100% cotton. Obviously, you can use any yarn and corresponding needles.

YO = Yarn over: Not hard to do at the beginning of the row, just not usual. Keep a taut tension.
SL1, K2tog, PSSO: Slip one stitch, knit the next two stitches together, pass the slipped stitch over the resulting made stitch. 3 stitches reduced to one.


*Cast on 19 stitches.

--sequence begins...

*Knit one row.

*YO, K8, SL1, K2tog, PSSO, K to end of row.
*YO, K8, SL1, K2tog, PSSO, K to end of row.
*YO, K7, SL1, K2tog, PSSO, K to end of row.
*YO, K7, SL1, K2tog, PSSO, K to end of row.
*YO, K6, SL1, K2tog, PSSO, K to end of row.
*YO, K6, SL1, K2tog, PSSO, K to end of row.......

Continue in this way until you have one stitch left on the needle. Pick up 9 loops made by the yarnovers at the beginnings of the rows Start at the end of the needle where the working yarn IS NOT. Cast on 9 more stitches at the end where the working yarn IS {19 stitches on needle}.

Begin the sequence again.

Repeat as necessary.

The ratio of decreasing is reduced to only 1 stitch per row rather than two to elongate the edges for a nicely proportioned rickrack.

©2004 Staceyjoy Elkin, all rights reserved.

HK rickrack
Knitting rickrack bits for stress relief. It's mindless fun. Will be using them on garments for Fall.